Via Francigena di San Francesco 2 : topo (en)  

 

  Descriptif :    

- A01. Piediluco - Poggio Bustone (20,5 km) (7.5 ore)

- A02. Poggio Bustone - Rieti (18,1 km) (5 ore)

 

- B01. Rieti - Poggio San Lorenzo (21 km) (7.5 ore)

- B02. Poggio San Lorenzo - Ponticelli (18 km) (5 ore)

- B04. Ponticelli - Monterotondo (28 km) (8 ore)

- B05. Monterotondo - Montesacro (18 km) (5.1 ore)

- B06. Montesacro - San Pietro (15 km) (4.3 ore)

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                                   A01. Piediluco - Poggio Bustone (20,5 km) (7.5 ore)   

  The walk begins at the Sanctuary of St. Francis of Assisi (370 metres above sea level) in the centre of Piediluco and continues through the poplars and willow trees, along the lake side as far as the rowing club; from here the walk picks up the S.S. Ternana road for around 500 metres in the direction of Rieti, as far as a water fountain, from where the trail then proceeds along the dirt road. Approximately 50m up the road on the right is a stone tower, looking out over Labro, and from there the walk continues towards Pacce for around 300 m as far as the swimming pools. Leaving behind the pools on the left, the dirt road then bends slightly to the right as it begins to climb, and after around 1.5 km, amongst the junipers and oaks, the walk reaches Labro, just beside the fountain. Passing through the historic centre of the town, the walk reaches the police barracks, on the crossroads of the road from Terni to Leonessa. The trail then continues uphill along the dirt road that can be seen at the centre of the crossroads. The road is paved in stretches and climbs for around 2 km, until it reaches the outskirts of Morro Reatino, near the Cemetery. From here the walk follows the main road to Leonessa in the direction of Morro Reatino, for around 150 m, until it reaches a fountain on the bend, and leaves the main road behind to continue along a smaller road, which then meets up with the S.S. Leonessa road again after 500m. A few dozen metres along the main road, at the restaurant by the crossroads, the smaller road continues uphill, passing alongside a roadmender’s house. After

passing an unsurfaced bend, the route reaches a pine forest on the left. The road then levels out for a while, before rising uphill again until it meets the dirt road from Cepparo, which leads to the Beech Tree of St. Francis. A footpath lined with oaks and junipers runs in a northerly direction along the side of the road for a short time, then the path continues until it arrives at a cross at the top of the hill. After the cross it is a gradual downhill walk, until the path reaches the valley and the Beech Tree of St. Francis (1.090 metres above sea level).

  Following a visit to the Beech Tree of St. Francis, the path continues uphill, up a flight of steps leading to a stone church. Past the church, the walk continues across the grass, where, between two trees, it starts to descend along a steep pathway that can be slightly tricky at times, thanks to its rough and slippery surface. The path finishes on the unsurfaced road from Rivodutri, and continues downhill until it meets the dirt track leading to Poggio Bustone. After around 2 km, the walk reaches a stream, which, depending on the season, should be crossed with caution. Leaving behind the dirt track, the walk picks up a pathway that leads down to the left towards the ruins of Villa Santori and then on to Villa Roma. From there the walk passes the cemetery before crossing through the centre of Poggio Bustone, until it is possible to catch sight of the Sanctuary of Poggio Bustone (Convent of St. James) which, in a landscape dotted with olives and oaks, is finally reached after around 20.5 km and 7.5 hours of walking.

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                                      A02. Poggio Bustone - Rieti (18,1 km) (5 ore) 

  From the Sanctuary of Poggio Bustone (Convent of St. James) (818 metres above sea level), the walk moves downhill and passes through the town in the direction of Bandita. After about two km there is a path on the left that leads through terraced fields, crosses the town of Poeta, and continues for one kilometre on a paved road towards San Liberato for a total distance of five kilometres. After the town, the road is left behind and the walk proceeds in the direction of Fonte di San Liberato. From here a path on a slight uphill climb leads to Cantalice and passes through its historical centre. From Cantalice Superiore, the Vazia-Cantalice provincial road is taken to Madonna della Pace. This road is then abandoned in order to follow another road that runs along the top of a hill. The walk now continues on a slight downhill descent and when crossing through the towns of Case Colasanti, San Gregorio and Civitella, one can admire Mount Terminillo to the east and the Rieti plain to the west with lakes Lungo and Ripasottile in the foreground. Continuing downhill towards La Foresta Sanctuary, the path encounters the church dedicated to St. Felice from Cantalice. At this point, the walk goes on for 2.600 metres along a dirt road until it reaches a valley where it crosses the Via dell’Acquamartina. The walk rises uphill for about 500 metres then a right turn leads to the last uphill stretch. On the left, just past a cottage, the walk reaches the Sanctuary of La Foresta (550 metres above sea level) after a total walking distance of about 13 kilometres, taking approximately three hours. From the Sanctuary of La Foresta (550 metres above sea level), Rieti is about 40 minutes on a slight downhill slope away.

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                                B01. Rieti - Poggio San Lorenzo (21 km) (7.5 ore)

  The bronze statue of Saint Francis (1927) under the bell tower of the Cathedral dedicated to Saint Mary Assunta, in Piazza Mariano Vittori, is the starting point of this first stage. Descend along Via Roma, up to the Ponte Romano on the river Velino and piazza Cavour, near the monument to the Italian Lira (2003), then continue through the Rione Borgo. A few hundred meters outside of town you’ll come across the Fonte Cottorella hot springs park. Cross on the footbridge over the river Turano, then take the exclusive path that traces the old Way of the Salt between long lines of majestic lime trees until Maglianello Basso. After the tree-lined avenue, the path continues along the Ariana creek banks past the hamlet of San Giovanni Reatino. Continue along a small road until the Provincial road Turanense, which you’ll walk along for little more than 2 km in a southerly direction (again awaiting completion of a footpath outside the roadway). Turn right into the dirt road leading to the Sambuco Roman Bridge. Cross it and head back up to Ornaro Basso (a hamlet of Torricella in Sabina), where you turn left on the Via Salaria Vecchia (also under safety construction works). After 1 km turn into Via Quinzia, descending into a valley under the ancient and picturesque hilltop village of Ornaro Alto, then continue along the path that follows the ancient Way of the Salt, through the woods until the Provincial Road. Continue towards Torricella Sabina until Collina del Sacro Cuore, then head into the white road on the right that leads you into the medieval village of Poggio San Lorenzo.

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                                 B02. Poggio San Lorenzo - Ponticelli (18 km) (5 ore)

  Descend along the provincial road south of the town centre from the square in Poggio San Lorenzo, taking in views of the ancient roman wall remains. Turn left into Via Lemiconi and go down into the bottom of the valley. Turn left again onto the path crossing the creek and go up the opposite side. The surrounding forests of Turkish oaks end and the olive groves start, covering the hills with a silvery blanket. When you reach a little group of houses near the top, admire the view over Monteleone Sabino, then again down through the woods and the provincial road for Torricella in Sabina, entering an olive grove, then a walnut plantation and an oak forest. You will then reach the creek running along the bottom of the valley. Cross over a charming bridge and pass another creek and the remains of an ancient water mill, then climb back up through the forest to the Monteleone Sabino Cemetery. The scenery here is especially beautiful, owing to the contemporary presence of monumental oak trees and the Trebula Mutuesca archaeological site. Continue down the paved road through vineyards and olive groves until the bottom of the valley, turn left into a forest trail leading to St. Martin’s Church, a 10th century country church, on the outskirts of Poggio Moiano. Continue into town until the square with its baronial palace, which is now the town hall, and the church of St. John the Baptist. Walk through the old Torrione quarter and then again down into the little valley. Go through an old rural village and climb up the opposite side. Continue along the high plane onto the slopes of Mount Calvo (>> diversion for Farfa at this point), which you can walk around on the South side going through Santo Paolo Alto and Santo Paolo Basso, and then arrive at the town of Ponticelli di Scandriglia and Castle Orsini (10th century). As you walk around Mount Calvo, admire the valley filled with olive groves towards Scandriglia and the Lucretili Hills. This stage ends near the Orsini Castle with its adjoining church. A few kilometres from there you can visit the ancient Franciscan Sanctuary of St. Mary of Graces, one of the most important in

the Province of Rieti.

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                                     B04. Ponticelli - Monterotondo (28 km) (8 ore)

  

  Leave Piazza Madonna delle Grazie in Ponticelli di Scandriglia, go near the washing fountain at the top of the provincial road and cross into a group of houses and then a dip in the road to go back up to the opposite side along a white road. After about 1 km cross the Provincial Road SP 40, keep walking on the white road, which becomes paved, until you get to the village of Poggio Corese. Continue for a short time on the provincial road, pass a bar trattoria, get into another white road on the left. Cross the bridge on the bottom of the valley until you encounter to the road to Nerola. Here you might find it interesting to visit the Orsini Castle on a steep rock part of the Lucretili Mountains, about 50 km from Rome. Continue through the olives groves until the hamlet of Acquaviva di Nerola. Turn into the road on the left (>>after about 600 m on the right hand side, the last part of the Farfa diversion) through the countryside descending to the bottom of the valley and then climb back up towards Montelibretti, where you can see the Barberini Palace in the medieval centre. At this point in the walk the olive groves of the Alta Sabina hills stop and endless fruit orchards take their place. Leave the town following Via Vignacce descending towards Selva Grande and then turn left into Via Nomentana Antica. Continue on it until you come across the Strada della Neve (The Snow Road) and continue towards Molino and Torre della Fiore (a variation to the current paved path through the municipalities of Moricone and Palombara Sabina, near the Terme di Cretone Spa, has been planned). The scenery changes again and it becomes golden because of the wheat and forage cultivations covering the hills. Walk over a hill and a creek and climb again towards Via di Grotta Marrozza and then Castelchiodato. From here, take the Via Salaria again to reach Monterotondo. To the west rises the Orsini Barberini fortress, which dates back to the 11-12th century, over the eastern hills in the Tiber valley.

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                                    B05. Monterotondo - Montesacro (18 km) (5.1 ore)

  Starting again from the Monterotondo Cathedral you walk through one of the Roman countryside’s most picturesque and fascinating parts. Descend along Via Sant’Angelo, climb and then descend again towards Valle Ricca, which marks the limit of the Rome Municipality. Enter the Marcigliana Park through Via Santa Colomba and then turn left along the dirt road. The Marcigliana Park was where they discovered the Crustumerium site, one of the oldest cities in protohistoric Lazio. Virgil placed it among the five cities that built the weapons used by populations from central Italy to fight Aeneas. The Latin city of Crustumerium rose on some heights over the Tiber plane, overseeing the Via Salaria. Even back in the first Iron Age (10-9th century BC) the settlement occupied a 60 hectares area made up of a group of huts. Its strategic importance attracted the Romans’ attention, and they repeatedly tried to conquer it. Apparently Romulus abducted women from Crustumerium as well as the Sabines, but the city finally fell in Roman hands for good only in 499 BC. The Archaeological superintendence in Rome has created an archaeological-naturalistic route inside one of the city’s necropolis, in order to allow the visitor to be in close contact with the ancient remains, especially with the burial sites and with the reproductions of the decorative items, which have been placed in the same positions they were found in. Leave the park and continue along via Tor San Giovanni then Via della Bufalotta and Viale Adriatico. Climb up the short flight of steps on the left that leads to Via di Monte Argentario and then to the right towards Via Titano until you get to the Church of the Saints Guardian Angels in Piazza Sempione, one of the most significant works in the Monte Sacro neighbourhood, with its spectacular layout almost welcoming anybody entering the neighbourhood and perfectly closing off the also stunning Piazza Sempione on the Eastern side.

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                                 B06. Montesacro - San Pietro (15 km) (4.3 ore)

  Leave Piazza Sempione and head towards the centre walking along the Via Nomentana. Immediately after the bridge over the Aniene river, turn right into Via Valsolda and take the cycling-walking path that follows the river. Cross Via Salaria when it crosses Viale Somalia, continue along the path between the Via Olimpica and Monte Antenne, reach Via della Moschea and Viale Maresciallo Pilsudski; walk by the Auditorium “Parco della Musica” (Music Park) and the Palazzetto dello Sport, then turn right into Viale Tiziano until you reach and cross the Milvio Bridge, one of the most ancient (4-3rd century BC) and important bridges of the Urbe, which receives the Clodia and Veientana Roads, as well as the Cassia and the Flaminia. It was initially a wooden bridge; it was then redone completely and it took the name of the magistrate that authorized its masonry construction, called Molvius, hence Molvio and then Milvio. The path continues along the right bank of the Tiber. When you reach the Sant’Angelo Bridge leave it and climb the steps that lead to the road, in front of Via della Conciliazione. At the bottom, you will see St Peter’s Basilica rising in all its splendour. Peter’s Tomb was found under its main altar, not far from the place where Nero’s circus rose. He was the apostle Jesus had entrusted with guiding the Church. When we reach the Square and the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi (The Vatican’s pilgrimage office), we can finally pick up our Testimonium.

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                                                                       12/12/2014

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